Effective Means of Propulsion for Safe Navigation. The commission established procedures, by rule, to evaluate whether a vessel has an effective means of propulsion for safe navigation. The commission has implemented a statewide training program for FWC law enforcement and partner agencies. This training will ensure consistent enforcement of the rule regardless of demographic variation in the boating public throughout the state. This rule (68D-15.002 F.A.C.) became effective on November 29, 2019.
Grant Programs. The commission updated the rules for two grant programs that became effective on November 29, 2019. One rule (68-1.003 F.A.C.) updated the Florida Boating Improvement Program grant guidelines. This program provides grants to governmental entities for boating access projects and boating-related activities. The program awarded 13 projects approximately $2 million in state funds for Fiscal Year 2019-20. These updated guidelines provide clear detailed information on how to apply for this grant program as well as requiring that grantees do not allow swimming within the actual footprint of a grant funded boat ramp. This requirement is meant to improve boating access by preventing other activities that would impede the launching of vessels.
The commission also updated the derelict vessel grant program guidelines by providing for an open application period, a zero percent match requirement and strengthened the requirement of a grantee to seek criminal charges for those responsible for derelict vessels on state waters. By lifting these restrictions local governments are afforded more flexibility in the application process and could allow for more program participation. This program provides funding to local governments for the removal of derelict vessels from Florida waters. The Legislature appropriated $1.75 million for derelict vessel removal for Fiscal Year 2020-21.